Many of us can probably recall an experience with a boss or supervisor who led with domination. You know, those that instilled fear in employees when they felt things weren’t going right.

Let me start by adding, very few people choose to dominate other people. It is usually not a conscious decision, yet most of us have times when we do. Dominating others means that our tendency is to bring challenge, but little support – often a response from stress.

But how did this become a natural instinct? Domination often comes as a habit that may have been learned from an overbearing coach, parent, or boss who yelled in order to get their way. Before understanding people’s tendencies and the “why” behind these leadership styles, we may have been quick to label these people as “evil.” While dominating people tend to be hyper focused on getting things done, they don’t realize they are actually limiting the influence of those that they lead with these actions.

As we explore this behavior with leaders, they often respond, “But, isn’t there a time when you need to dominate inside an organization?” Our answer is always the same: Absolutely NOT! There is never a time or place that requires you to cause fear and manipulation. Will there be times when we need to bring more challenge? Yes, but not by abusing power your power as a leader or causing fear and anxiety.

Do those who dominate get things done? Absolutely, but so do those who liberate, and the experience of people on the other side of each is dramatically different. Dominating leads to compliance, whereas liberating produces engagement. That difference is what makes leaders great.

We encourage you to make a commitment to yourself to never dominate others again. We invite you to check out a couple of tools to help you make this transformation: The Support-Challenge Matrix and Know Yourself to Lead Yourself

We are here to support you on your journey. Have a question, want to share your thoughts with us, or learn more about how we can help your team? Send us a message.